Adventure - Zombies at the Festival!

City – Berhurst

A troop of carnies are in town to celebrate the mid summer festival! There are games of skill and chance! Pony Rides! Shows! Something goes horribly wrong at one of the shows and there are undead abominations! Oh My!

What’s Really Going On

The main attraction of the traveling fair is Elara Nayov a beautiful singing woman whose song hypnotizes helpless volunteers from the audience. At the beginning of her act she uses her song on her tiger companion to prove her abilities before asking for volunteers from the crowd. Due to the affect of her song many people clamor to be picked and she selects three from the crowd which then during her song turn into Ghasts.

This immediately causes panic, of course. The Guard puts the carnival troop in lock down until they can be questioned. The local Guard Captain Terseon Skellerang is interested in justice rather than scape goating, but if another source or explanation does not reveal itself he will have no other choice but to imprison Elara.

In reality, the three victims have consumed Wasteland Corrupted meat or beverage and Elara’s song just amplified and quickened the effect.

Entry Points

Exploration
It’s fairly obvious that there’s a carnival in town and that the town is celebrating something. The PCs can simply wander into the area where the carnival is happening during the day.

Rumors
The merchants are all excited to sell their wares so they’ve increased their stocks and have runners from their shops to the booths they’re running in the carnival. Perhaps the PCs see some of this action while shopping.

Rumors
The citizens are excited to see what new things are at this year’s carnival. They’re all abuzz about the goodies and shows from last year. The PCs could overhear some of this in any public gathering spot.

Advertisements/Banners
Fliers have been posted all around town announcing the start of the Midsummer Festival and listing the merchants who are participating. Banners for the festival are hung around the town.

Cryers
Walking the streets and coming into the taverns at peak times are criers form the traveling troop announcing shows and drumming up support.

Games

The fair allows the players to engage in several games of skill and chance.

Arm-Wrestling – 1s
Opposed STR checks. Must win two times from a neutral position. Winner gets a badge with ’I bested Erok".

Eagle Shot – 1s
3 shots with a shortbow at three targets. There’s a near AC12, medium AC15 and far AC17 target. Hitting the near target awards a pet rat, medium a wooden sword, far a stiched doll of Warden Rannolf Wilmot

King’s Vault – 1s or 1g
Place coin under silver cups. The cups are then rearranged quickly. The guess which cup covered the coin. Sleight of Hand vs. Perception. Winner gets their coin + 1.

Titan’s Hammer – 5s
Given a large hammer, the entrant attempts to tip over the stone DC20 str check. Winner gets the pot.

Rogue’s Stomach – 5s
Drinking contest, finish the most ale you can in 30 seconds or drink all 10 beers. Con save each round or get sick. 5 rounds, 1 beer/round DC8 +2 every round after. 2 beer/round, DC10 +3/round, 3 beer/round DC13 +4/round. First one to finish beers without getting sick wins the pot!

Attractions

The main attraction is the carnival’s show under the big tent. Mostly, this is a bunch of circus ‘freaks’. The citizens of the town are willing to accept the strange group of people for short periods, such as during the festival but they are expected to move on after the festival closes.

Fire Breathing Man
Coryston Pike
A half-dragon human who can breath fire, he’s a bit taller than average at around 6’4". He has a thick, muscular build, but little to no hair. He will joke about being able to breath fire meaning he’s burned off all his hair until it wouldn’t grow back, but both are signs of his heritage. A close inspection of the man shows dragon like features, nose a little flatter with nostrils pointing more forward. Eyes larger and far set. Teeth are pointier than usual and almost look filed down.

Bearded Lady
Brendal Stonebottom
A female dwarf who is taller than average at 5’2 and with a very slight build for a dwarf. In the dwarven community she’s seen as a non-traditional beauty. With her hourglass figure, she still has the curves of a dwarf but she easily passes herself off as a curvy human. Her hair is long, flowing brown and well kept as is her beard. She wears it mostly loose and will sometimes braid her hair with a crown braid and flowers to accentuate her beard.

Hypnotic Singer
Elara Nayov
The headliner of the show is a woman whose song hypnotizes. She looks fairly average, with a slight almost boyish build, straight brown hair and eyes. Her build is slender and she’s fairly tiny, almost childlike at 5’ tall. If the PCs see her naked at any point, they’ll notice her shoulderblades protrude a bit more than is usual and anyone with a DC 13 Medicine check can see that they’re slightly misshapen. This is due to some of her ancestry, which also gives her her song. Somewhere in her ancestry is Siren blood.

The ringmaster of the troop uses her as his headliner because anyone that hears her song is quickly entranced by it and drawn to her thinking that she is the most amazing and alluring woman they have ever known. It does come with some challenges as unwanted suitors do tend to come to call but it keeps the troop’s pockets full of coin and the demand for their services high.

Encounters

Attack on the Show

During Elara’s show, three of the five volunteers transform into Ghasts. Their bodies whither in front of the croud’s eyes and bony protrusions erupt from beneath their skin.

The five volunteers are:

Iean Lane Fisherman Victim
He’s an elderly gentleman in his 70s who spends most of his time at the Crooked Shingle, a tavern in the highdocks district. Mostly kept to himself and has no surviving family. His drinking buddies will miss him. He’s thin and looks like a stiff breeze would blow him over. Most of his hair is gone but what he does have left is whispy and utterly white. Sports an old, patched up driving cap to cover up his lack of hair.

Investigation

Investigation into his corpse will find that he was pretty old to begin with and may not have been in the best health.
Crooked Shingle
The building is an old dilapidated wooden building next to the docks. It looks like its seen better years. The wooden slats that make up the walls show signs of weather wear and you can even see through some of the seams where slats come together. The roof is also wooden shingle and looks to have been repaired recently. There are no windows and the wooden door shows several cracks that have been patched up. As you enter the place you’re greeted with the smell of sweat and alcohol. The place is smaller with a bar on the opposite side of the door and several tables places around the small main room. There’s a table of grizzled old fishermen taking up one of the tables while a gentleman in his 50s Narder Rene is bellied up to the bar conversing with a pretty, but well weathered woman in her 30s. Clayre Sangster

The couple at the bar is the owner and his girlfriend. They both tend the bar. The group of people at the table are the regular fishermen that are always here and several are Iean’s drinking buddies. They haven’t seen him in a few days, but the last they saw he didn’t seem well. They figured he had been resting for the past few days and hadn’t recovered enough to come in. Iean has lung rot he acquired by sailing and smoking. One of the guys knows where he lives.

Iean’s shack
Iean’s home is a one room wooden shack that is right on the other side of the wall in the low docks. It smells of urine and fish. Several fishing poles are sitting the the corner of the place. A bed that shows stains of sweat and age sits against one wall while the other wall has a wood burning stove. A few shelves in the room complete the place’s decore. On one of the shelves seems to be pieces of dried fish and meats. A string of fish hangs from the ceiling and the fish all look small and emaciated. There’s a half eaten fish on a place on a table near the stove.

What Happened
Iean ate a contaminated fish that he fished up the day before his death and ate for breakfast before heading to the fair.

Sarah Mills – Aristocrat Victim
Survived by her husband Ardre and their three children Tomund, Annan, Cily, she had come down with a cough in the last few days. She took the kids to the show with their nanny Benne. She’s 5’6" tall with shoulder length dirty blonde hair and brown eyes. She’s in her mid thirties and is wearing a yellow dress with a pronounced bustle that has a white blouse. She’s also wearing a white hat with yellow trim and carries a parasol.

Questioning the nanny about Sarah will reveal that Sarah was decent but strict employer and she thought pretty highly of herself. Benne is the fourth nanny that the Mills family has gone through since their children were born. Ardre Mills has dark curly black hair and brown eyes. He dresses nicely and wears a few rings other than his wedding ring. He’s stoic about Sarah’s passing and fairly strict with his children. He’s reluctant to allow anyone into the family abode to search for anything.

Mills Home
The mills home is in the Castle District. It’s an impressive building with a gate and 8’ stucco wall surrounding the three story home. On the grounds are the home, the carriage house, and the servant’s house. Benne, the Cook Bojard, and the driver/groundskeeper Yans all live there. All are in good health. If questioned and persuaded, Ardre will reveal that Sarah had come down with some cold in recent days and was bed ridden but had started to feel better and wanted a day out with the kids at the festival to lift her spirits.

Investigation of the kitchen in the house will reveal a box of produce recently procured from the Shelly’s Farm.

What Happened
Due to her recent illness, Sarah’s system succumbed to contamination from the produce from the farm.

Ezekio Holley – Merchant Survivor
In his mid forties with dark brown hair with grey accents. Sports a rather impressive mustache. Speaks with some import and hates to be interrupted he runs a local weaving shoppe. He feels like he’s on his way up and wants to turn this chance event that he escaped from into some kind of advantage.

Androe Dodd – Guard Victim
Androe is a muscular man in his mid 20s with blonde hair and clean shaven face. He’s survived by his fiancee Daphne Drumbal. They were to be married this fall and have been together since the Spring Gala that Berhurst throws every year. He was recently wounded in a scuffle with a trio of orcs that came out of the east near the Great Wasteland that attacked his patrol. While he was healing he thought he would take Daphne to the show and spend some quality time with her.

Questioning Daphne will reveal that Androe is a member of the The Watch and was on medical leave due to the injury he sustained. He showed the wound to her as he was changing his bandages. If the PCs investigate his body, they can with a DC15 Medicine check, find out that the body had a wound previous to the change from the taint that was bandaged. The wound appears to be infected.

Androe lives in the Garrison as he’s not married yet. Investigation in that direction shuld lead the PCs to his commanding officer Rif Thorne who can tell the PCs how Androe got the wound and point them to the Watch doctor Alen Pyley. Talking with Alen will reveal that the wound was deep and required stitches. Alen also gave Androe a jar of ointment to rub into the wound once a day until it had scabbed over completely. The batch of ointment was created by the doctor in the last few days from herbs and clay from the local lake bed.

What Happened
The healer’s poltice that was applied to Androe’s wound was created with some contaminated clay. As such it caused his system to succumb to the taint.

Angela Keats – Administrator Survivor
Angela is a middle aged woman in her 40s with brown eyes and hair starting to show its age with streaks of grey. She wears spectacles because she’s nearsighted from all the reading and writing she does in her job. She’s an administrator at the Castle. Her main job is filing and searching for permits of all kinds, building, events, merchants, fishing you name it.

PLOT HOOK Possible information about the castle, Zarazen, etc.

Adventure - Zombies at the Festival!

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